All posts tagged: Catherine Keener

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Digital HD Review: “The Croods”

The Croods is my latest foray into digital downloads, a form of movie watching that in my experience has provided better picture quality and sound than many of my Netflix viewings. This recent film from Dreamworks Animation and 20th Century Fox was a big hit last spring. Some people were surprised that it did so well, probably because Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds provided two of the voices. However, the film was co-directed by Chris Sanders, co-director of the last great Disney 2D feature, Lilo & Stitch, and Dreamworks’ wonderful How to Train Your Dragon, so doubters should have waited for the final film before knocking it down. Truth told, Cage and Reynolds show more depth here than many of their recent live action films, while the rest of the small cast, which includes Emma Stone, Catherine Keener and Clark Duke, also shine. The story is pretty straight-forward: The Croods are a prehistoric family of cave dwellers who live a secluded life in a rocky valley. The father, Groo (Cage), is overprotective and has his …

Blu-ray Review: “Cyrus”

Cyrus (20th Century Fox, 2010) Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly co-starring in a film — it’s gotta be a raunchy, Apatow-style comedy, right? You’d think so, but as Cyrus makes clear, that isn’t always the case. This big(ger) budget coming-out party for writer/directors Mark and Jay Duplass (Baghead, The Puffy Chair) eschews easy laughs in favor of a love story of sorts — albeit one that follows the same bittersweet beats as real life. Synopsis: Cyrus stars John C. Reilly as John, a middle-aged lonely divorced guy who, as the film opens, gets dragged to a party by his remarried ex-wife (Catherine Keener) — who remains his best friend. After a few clumsy, drunken passes at a variety of women, John encounters Molly (Marisa Tomei), an attractive single-mom who finds John’s social awkwardness appealing. They hit it off, and quickly begin a tender new relationship. Problems soon arise in the form of Cyrus (Jonah Hill), Molly’s twentysomething son, who has an off-puttingly close relationship to his mom. Soon the jealous Cyrus sets about trying …

DVD Reviews: “(Untitled)” and “Please Give”

If you’re in a New York State of mind and looking for something other than a classic Woody Allen or Scorsese flick, let me recommend these two new, wonderful independent films recently released on DVD. (Untitled) is an offbeat romantic comedy starring Adam Goldberg, the man with the best scowl this side of Paul Giamatti. The film, written by Jonathan Parker and Catherine Di Napoli and directed by Parker, delves into the world of avant-garde art and music, daring to ask the question “what is art?” At the same time, the film explores the human heart and allows Goldberg, a character actor whose best films always seem to have him be the angry mope, to show his softer side as the romantic lead. Goldberg is Adrian, an avant-garde composer/ sound artist whose concerts usually draw two people, not including his parents. Of course, his folks feel obligated to be there, but even they have a hard time sitting through an entire performance. Adrian’s compositions are so far out there that to the average music fan, …